East Notes: Hornets, Brandon Miller, Bulls, Hawks, Dejounte Murray


Coach Steve Clifford was not pleased with how Charlotte got beat on the boards in their home loss to the Nets.Brandon Miller

“If we’re going to be able to be a surprise team, which I think we can, the rebounding piece has got to be a big strength,” Clifford said, via Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer. “Detroit, I would say looking at things, they will be one of the better rebounding teams in the league. But the differential can’t be that. I mean, it’s the biggest part of the game.”

  • Clifford wasn’t nearly as concerned with the fact the Hornets gave up 133 points. “Look, we just played two terrific defensive games,” Clifford said. “So, it’s not like we haven’t been good on defense. We played two games that would have been top 10 games I’m sure — I don’t know what the rankings would be, it’s too early — but we’d be a top-10 defensive team.”
  • Rookie Brandon Miller scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds in defeat. “I think the performance was great, but at the end of the day we lost,” Miller said. “I think we’ll just come in here (Tuesday), and get better and then go and try to get a win against a tough crowd and a great team (in Houston).”


Coach Billy Donovan was pleased with the Bulls’ balance in an impressive road win over the Pacers. Nikola Vucevic scored 24, Zach LaVine added 23 and DeMar DeRozan had 20.

“If we can get everybody involved and play downhill, there’s plenty to go around for everybody to eat,” Donovan told reporters.

  • The Bulls are now 17-9 when the aforementioned trio each score 20 or more, noted K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago
  • Donovan indicated he also liked how the Bulls shared the basketball. “I think we tried to play to that identity for the whole game,” he said. “In the last six to eight minutes, you’re going to start really looking at matchups. But I thought we tried to move the ball.”


Dejounte Murray tied his career-high with 41 points as the Hawks won for the second time in two nights, burying the Timberwolves.

“If we utilize the talent we have on this team,” Murray told reporters, “we can go a long way.”

  • Added coach Quin Snyder: “Obviously, DJ had that stretch where he put us on his back. He made all kind of plays and I really liked his spirit.”
  • Murray also played a big role in containing Wolves guard Anthony Edwards in the second half. “The stat sheet says he had 41 points, but defensively, anytime you see guys up on the ball, working, competing, it’s inspirational to the guys behind you,” Snyder said of Murray.

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